2000 - 2001
Man of La Mancha
Sixteenth Century, Seville, Spain…
Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant are imprisoned by the Spanish Inquisition. Their fellow prisoners try Cervantes, and, if he is found guilty, they will confiscate all his possessions, which include his manuscript of his novel “Don Quixote”.
Cervantes is granted permission to plead his case in the form of an entertainment, so he transforms himself into Don Quixote, knight errant. His manservant and the prisoners portray the rest of the characters in the story. Don Quixote’s quest to restore the age of chivalry and to right all wrongs leads him down very challenging paths. In his imagination, a simple roadside inn becomes a castle and the serving wench/prostitute Aldonza becomes his lady “Dulcinea”. He alone sees the beautiful and serene qualities in everything.
When all of this is considered utter lunacy by Aldonza and the other denizens of the Inn he replies with all his heart with The Impossible Dream. Aldonza no sooner starts to believe in Quixote’s idealism when she is beaten and ravaged by muleteers. Disillusioned and forced to face reality she denounces the Quixotic dream. Quixote himself is challenged to and loses a duel and is forced to see himself as everyone else sees him.
Later, Aldonza, plagued yet enlightened by the brief glimpse of glory she once held, makes her way to the dying Alonso Quijana – who once called himself Don Quixote – hoping to rekindle his vision of glory. She succeeds, and for a moment he regains his strength and revels once again as Don Quixote, Lord of La Mancha, only to falter and die. Going forward, Aldonza refuses to let his dream die and again claims to be Dulcinea.
As Cervantes ends his story, the prisoners, deeply moved, return his manuscript to him, and urge him forward in his battle with the Inquisition.
Director: Michael Gareau
Musical Director: Marylen Milenkovic
Choreographer, Assistant Director: Debbie Millett